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Women, children's shelter hosts fund-raiser

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

For nearly 15 years, Hope Shelter, Inc., has been a haven in the Mountain View area for women and children who find themselves in the south metro area without a home.

On Saturday, in downtown Jonesboro, the shelter will allow locals to sell their wares in order to aid the shelter's continued operation.

From 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., at 149 South McDonough Street in Jonesboro, Hope Shelter, Inc., will host several table vendors, all of whom will be selling yard-sale items. The twist is that all of the proceeds will go to the shelter.

"Some people's junk is other people's treasure ... it's going to be like that," said Sharkley Buford, president and founder of the shelter. In addition to selling clothing, furniture, and other yard-sale items, the shelter will also serve fried fish, baked goods, coffee, lemonade, and other soft drinks.

The shelter has long operated on the donations and kindness of others. However, with the sagging state of the economy, Buford said the shelter has had to come up with creative ways to raise funds.

"With the decline in the economy, people aren't giving like they used to, so we have to go to a 'plan B' to raise money," said Buford. The donations will "help them with food, [bus] tokens, and will go toward operation of the shelter."

"Funds are needed," said Shelter Director Janet Foster. "It's a need and it's going to be a need for a long time.

"The fund-raiser is one of the ways we keep the doors open for future people who need a place to stay," Foster continued. "It keeps food in the home and it keeps the lights on. It gives people what they need to move on."

Miss Weaver, a single mother from Phoenix, Ariz,. -- who asked not to be mentioned by first name due to safety reasons -- found herself at the shelter on April 13, after taking a bus to Atlanta in hopes of pursuing a career in child psychology.

She said the shelter, which accommodates about 30 women and children, has been a safe haven for her. "It's been really helpful ... it's kept me off the streets," said Weaver. She plans to assist in the fund-raiser and urged others to participate.

"I hope people realize the situations that we are in and realize that there are a lot of women and children that need their help," said Weaver.

For more information about the fund-raiser, call (404) 366-0210.